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Types of Tariff: Online

Other Types of Energy Tariff:

An increasing number of electricity and gas suppliers offer online energy tariffs. But what do online energy tariffs entail?

Online Energy Tariffs at a Glance

  • Online energy tariffs are often the cheapest on the market
  • Most electricity and gas suppliers offer online energy tariffs
  • Customers on online energy tariffs receives bills by emails and manage their account online
  • Online energy tariffs can apply to variable and fixed prices, or green energy contracts
  • Online energy tariffs mostly include payment by monthly direct debit

Online Account Management

The main element about online energy tariffs is that customers manage their electricity and gas accounts online. What does this mean?

Often, signing up to an online energy tariff requires subscribing online directly on the energy supplier’s website or through a comparison website such as TheSwitch.

If you are set on an online energy tariff and happy to subscribe online, this can be convenient as it does away with the hassle of speaking to customer service: your energy deal is only a click away.

But if you are still hesitating about which energy offer you prefer, signing up to an online energy tariff via the web does not afford you the opportunity of getting advice from a sales expert.

Customers on an online energy tariff receive their welcome pack and bills by email rather than by post.

Increasingly, people find it convenient to store administrative documents in their mailbox or on the cloud. Those on online energy tariffs can easily access their welcome pack or electricity and gas bills from their email account without having to look for the physical document.

Conversely, many still prefer to keep important documents physically archived in safe places and receiving paper bills for important contracts such as utilities. Online energy tariffs do not allow for this as documents are sent to customers online exclusively.

People on online energy tariffs manage their account online rather than on the phone.

Online energy plans include an online account that allows for paying bills, changing tariffs, submitting meter readings, viewing consumption and editing details. It is often faster and more convenient to change banking details online, for example, than having to call customer service or write a letter.

Yet online energy tariffs and plans impose email conversations on customers, who might otherwise prefer to have a customer care agent on the phone when there is an important issue needing to be dealt with.

Online Energy Tariff Discounts

Online energy tariffs tend to be considerably cheaper than other energy plans, if not the cheapest. Because online account management and billing saves energy suppliers administrative costs. These savings translate into discounts and lower prices for customers who accept to rely less on physical assistance and more on web-based information.

Electricity and gas customers on a supplier’s standard tariffs with paper bills stand to save over £200 a year by switching to a online energy tariff. These savings can be combined with dual-fuel discounts and direct debit discounts, though payment on online energy tariffs tends to be via monthly direct debit.

With online energy tariffs, customers are also free to choose a variable or fixed price plan, or a green energy plan, should this be their priority. Indeed, online energy tariffs apply only to the account management side of an energy deal and do not preclude customers for tailoring other elements of their energy plan.

Which suppliers offer online energy tariffs?

Most electricity and gas suppliers offer online energy tariffs. Some energy suppliers, such as isupplyenergy, do not offer any other tariff than online energy plans. Here is the list of suppliers with online energy tariffs as of June 2014:

  • Extra Energy
  • First:Utility
  • Flow Energy
  • Ovo Energy
  • Green Star Energy
  • Spark Energy
  • Sainsbury’s Energy
  • British Gas
  • Scottish Power
  • Woodland Trust Energy
  • Southern Electric/SSE/SWALEC/Scottish Hydro
  • M&S Energy
  • The Utility Warehouse
  • npower
  • EDF Energy
  • E.ON
  • The Co-Operative Energy
  • Good Energy
  • Ecotricity
  • Ebico
  • isupplyenergy